Exercise for Wellness
We all know the physical benefits of exercise — improved heart health, stable weight and a longer life, but did you know that it can also significantly improve your mental wellbeing?
Regular exercise has immediate mental health benefits, beginning with a heightened sense of wellbeing, increased energy, better sleep, and improved memory. Not only that, but is also reduces stress, anxiety and ADHD symptoms, and the good news is that you don’t need to overhaul your lifestyle to reap the benefits; even a moderate level of regular exercise can make a huge difference to your life. Moderate exercise is defined as making you breathe a little deeper but not feel out of breath — you should be able to hold a conversation but might not be able to perform a rendition of your favourite musical theatre number.
Exercise is an incredible antidepressant and, in fact, studies have shown that it substantially improves mood in patients with major depressive disorders in a short time. The key is to give yourself achievable goals, committing to that golden ‘moderate exercise’ target. For example, short bursts of five minutes will set a foundation to which you can add as exercise becomes habitual. Surprisingly, exercising every day makes it easier to find the time as it becomes as normal as your morning cup of tea.
The most common reasons for not implementing exercise into your daily routine can often be the very reasons you need to. For example, feeling tired can seem like an appropriate reason for skipping the yoga, yet this gentle exercise can actually help you feel energised. Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of squeezing in yet another task into your already busy day seems to be a valid reason not to exercise, yet you will find that as exercise becomes the norm, you will be able to complete the other tasks in your day more easily, with a refreshed, more positive outlook. If lack of childcare is the issue, try including the children into your daily exercise routine by making it fun. There are lots of exercise classes on YouTube that are appealing to children.
If you have a health issue or disability, please speak to your GP prior to starting an exercise regime.